Raisin in the Sun

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The Corruption of the American Dream
Dreams are what humans see as their guides through their lives or their individual goals which they must work a lifetime for to achieve. In Langston Hughes’ poem, Dream Deferred, he asks rhetorical questions about how a withheld dream can corrupt and negatively change the mind of a man. The poem relates to the movie, “A Raisin in the Sun (2008)” by Kenny Leon, since the movie answers the rhetorical questions in the poem by showing scenes of how the dreams of Walter Lee Younger corrupted his mind and made him lose his sense of personality/humanity.

A dream that seems impossible to attain, causes obsession and corruption in one’s mind. Langston Hughes asks in his poem, “Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore—And then run?”[Hughes 1-4] which means that a dream deferred may get corrupted (fester – meaning to become infected) and stray away from its original path (run). Living in a time of racial segregation and inequality, Walter Lee Younger is corrupted with the fact that he needed money to achieve his materialistic dream. “Money is Life!” Walter says to his mother.[A Raisin in the Sun(2008)] Walter believed that the only way to achieve his dream was to become rich by gaining profit off of investing into a liquor store. Langston Hughes states in the poem, “Maybe it sags like a heavy load,”[Hughes 8-9] which would relate to how Walter had been so obsessed with gaining money that it put forth a lot of stress within his mind as well as in the minds of his whole family. “Hell yes! I want me some damn yacht! Hell yes! I want me to put some pearls on my wife’s neck! And you tellin’ me I can’t get pearls to put on my wife’s neck?”[A Raisin in the Sun(2008)]. At this point, Walter’s dream had become a burden to his whole family and he spent the nights intoxicating himself, and drowning himself in a dream

which is impossible to achieve. This goes back to Hughes’ question of...
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